UN General Assembly adopts non-binding resolution –– drafted by Israel and Germany –– without a vote, but Iran disassociates itself from the text over Israel's "occupation of Palestine and parts of Syria and Lebanon."

UNGA meeting coincided with the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference when the Nazis met to coordinate the
UNGA meeting coincided with the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference when the Nazis met to coordinate the "final solution" –– their plan to exterminate the Jews. (AP Archive)

The United Nations General Assembly has agreed on a definition of denial of the Holocaust when the Nazis killed 6 million Jews during World War Two and urged social media companies "to take active measures" to combat antisemitism.

"The General Assembly is sending a strong and unambiguous message against the denial or the distortion of these historical facts," said Germany's UN Ambassador Antje Leendertse. 

"Ignoring historical facts increases the risk that they will be repeated."

While the 193-member General Assembly adopted the non-binding resolution –– drafted by Israel and Germany –– without a vote, Iran disassociated itself from the text over Israel's "occupation of Palestine and parts of Syria and Lebanon."

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Recommendations

The General Assembly resolution spelled out that distortion and denial of the Holocaust refers to "intentional efforts to excuse or minimise the impact of the Holocaust or its principal elements, including collaborators and allies of Nazi Germany."

The text "commends" countries that preserve sites of former Nazi death camps, concentration camps, forced labor camps, execution sites, and prisons during the Holocaust.

It also urges UN members to develop educational programs "to help to prevent future acts of genocide" and calls on states and social media companies to "take active measures to combat anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial or distortion."

It "urges member states and social media companies to take active measures to combat antisemitism and Holocaust denial or distortion by means of information and communications technologies and to facilitate reporting of such content."

The General Assembly meeting coincided with the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference when the Nazis met to coordinate the "final solution" –– their plan to exterminate the Jews.

READ MORE: Like Holocaust deniers, Israeli ambassador in UK calls Nakba an 'Arab lie'

Israel hails 'historic resolution'

In a statement, Israel's ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, welcomed the "historic resolution," which had been negotiated for several months.

The text "for the first time, gives a clear definition of Holocaust denial, calls on countries to take steps in the fight against anti-Semitism," and demands for social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to fight the "hateful content" on their platforms.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and his German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock, in a joint statement welcomed the resolution, which they said served as proof that the international community "speaks with one voice" on the subject.

A resolution in 2005 designated January 27 as an international day of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust.

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Source: AFP